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7 Essential Productivity Habits of Successful Freelance Writers

7 Essential Productivity Habits of Successful Freelance Writers. Makealivingwriting.comStepped into my Wayback Machine and found this post from 2010 on productivity habits. And you know what? It’s still current. These habits have helped me and many other freelancers move up and earn more. Enjoy!–Carol

Time. We’ve only got so much of it each day. For freelance writers who are also parents, we’ve certainly never got enough of it. Or if you’re working a day job and freelancing on the side, you know you’ve got to use your time wisely.

Whether you have a wide-open schedule or just a few hours a day for freelancing, your productivity habits can have a huge impact on your writing career.

What’s the best way to spend your precious work hours? I’m often asked this question by writers during coaching calls. I had one say, “I wish I could follow you around all day and see how you do it!”

While I don’t think that would be pleasant for either of us (and might reveal an embarrassing amount of screwing off and/or snacking on my part!)…I realized that after a decade of freelancing, I have developed some strong opinions on productivity habits for freelance writers.

Here are what I consider to be the seven most important productivity habits a freelancer should spend their time on, in order of importance:

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Writing for Money: My Best Resources for Growing Your Income

Make money writing: The best resources. Makealivingwriting.com

There comes a point in every freelance writer’s life when they get sick of writing for pennies. You look up one day, realizing you’re burning out fast, and that you need to be writing for money — real money. The kind that pays the mortgage.

Helping writers move up and earn more is my favorite pastime, so I love it when writers tell me they’ve hit this point.

I’ve written a ton on how to grow your writing income here on the blog. But over the years, with 900+ posts, it’s gotten harder to easily find my best tips for leaving the gerbil-wheel of lousy gigs behind.

So I’m happy to announce that I’ve now got my very best ‘earn more from writing’ material organized on a single page.

If you’re ready to earn a serious living at freelance writing, read on for details:

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5 Urgent Reasons to Stop Undercharging for Writing Jobs

Are you undercharging for writing jobs? Makealivingwriting.com

It can seem like a great strategy, when you first start looking for writing jobs. If you simply charge a bit less than everyone else, you’ll get more clients.

Right?

You might. But sadly, undercutting market rates is a loser’s game.

I’ve coached thousands of writers at this point, and have yet to meet one who says they’re earning a great living by being the cheapest writer around.

The good news? There’s never been a better time to charge premium rates for your writing, as changes at Google have brought the rise of longer-form online content — and have helped a growing number of companies understand the high value of what we writers bring to the table.

It takes a major mindset change (and a little research) to go from low-price-leader to a writer who charges serious fees. But trust me — you’ll be ever so much happier and earn a crap-ton more if you stop undercharging. Let me help you make it happen.

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Get Paid to Write: 26 Sites That Pay Freelancers $100+

Sites that pay freelancers $100 and up. Makealivingwriting.com

What would your income look like if every assignment paid $100 and up? Sites that pay writers that much or more are out there. Seriously.

But you’re not going to find them on Craiglist or low-rate content mills that pay pennies per word, or worse. And even a large number of job boards that promise well-paying writing gigs turn out to only have gigs that pay enough per assignment to fill your gas tank.

Skip those gigs, and move on to sites that pay better rates.

Sites that pay freelance writers $100 and up

In this list of 26 sites that pay freelance writers, we’ve identified new markets we haven’t featured before. And even though these sites represent a variety of different niches (e.g. finance, parenting, health, technology, travel, etc.) they all have one thing in common.

These are sites that pay $100 or more for blog posts, articles, essays, tutorials, and other types of writing assignments.

The way you’re going to land a gig with one of these sites that pay $100-plus, is by writing a solid query letter, pitching a well-thought out blog post, or sending a customized LOI (letter of introduction).

Have you been looking for sites that pay better rates? Check out this list. Squeeze your marketing muscles, and start pitching to earn $100 or more per assignment.

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Flash Marketing: How I Booked $25K with Sales Copy Packages

How I booked $25K with sales copy packages. Makealivingwriting.com

Imagine being able to bring home a five-figure paycheck in a week without having to drive anywhere, send any emails, or even put up a page of sales copy.

It might sound crazy if you’ve been writing for low-rates and doing small one-off projects. But it’s not. This. Is. Happening.

I created a plan to write sales copy packages for businesses—all the content a client would need to get up and running (landing page, thank you page, blog posts, sales page, social media posts, and an email series). Then I sent out a message to see if anyone was interested.

Have you ever thought about offering sales copy packages?

It’s an incredible way to boost your freelance writing income and work with great clients in your niche. And it’s not as hard as you might think to do this.

After mapping out a plan to write sales copy packages, I invited people to sign up for an introductory price of $4,999.

The goal was simple. Book five clients at this rate. In a flash, those five spots were filled, and more prospects were practically begging for this sales copy package. Since then I’ve raised the price…twice, and currently charge $7,499 for it.

Want to know how to create an offer for sales copy packages and charge pro rates? Here’s what you need to know:

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Stay Fully Booked: Tips From a 6-Figure Freelancer

Be a fully booked freelancer. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you believe it’s the lot of the freelancer to have ‘drought’ months with no income?

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s not my normal.

Don’t know if I’ve ever shared this before, but I never had a zero-income month, in over a decade of paying all my bills entirely from freelance writing gigs.

I didn’t have the option of having drought months, because for many years, I was the sole support of a family of five. Terror clawing at my gut at the idea that a month might come along with no money in it.

So I designed my freelance life so that I always had money coming in, every month. Because my mortgage was due every month, too. And my kids weren’t interested in taking a month off of eating.

How did I do it? Well, there are some fundamental steps that always-booked freelancers take that most writers don’t bother with. Now that I coach writers in my Den 2X Income Accelerator Program, I’ve seen how reliable and powerful these steps are for taking a writer from just scraping by to earning a major income.

If you’d like to banish ‘down’ months from your freelance life, here are the basic steps you need to take:

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